'If I'm a cheat, prove it'

Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar watching as Galen Rupp raced to his seventh straight 10,000m title in the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships  last week. The 56-year-old Cuban-born American is under investigation by both the US Anti-Doping A
Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar watching as Galen Rupp raced to his seventh straight 10,000m title in the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships last week. The 56-year-old Cuban-born American is under investigation by both the US Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping.PHOTO: REUTERS

Farah insists he's 100% clean and will split with Salazar if coach broke anti-dope rules

LONDON • Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah says he is "100 per cent clean" and would leave his long-time coach Alberto Salazar if it is proved the American is guilty of violating any doping rules.

The 32-year-old told Sky Sports News on Tuesday that he has dedicated "half his life" to athletics and had never taken any performance-enhancing drug.

Farah, the hero of the London Olympics where he won a 5,000m and 10,000m gold double, has been under the spotlight since Salazar was accused of a systematic breach of the rules in a BBC documentary earlier this month.

Asked if he had ever used testosterone, EPO or human growth hormone drugs to treat a thyroid problem or performance-enhancing drugs, he replied: "No, never."

I DON'T DO DRUGS

The only medication I am on is for asthma which I have had since I was a child.

MO FARAH, who says he has never taken any performance-enhancing drug

"I was shocked, I couldn't believe what I saw," he replied when asked about his reaction to the allegations made against Salazar, the head of the Nike Oregon project.

"When I saw it, I wanted some answers. I spoke to Alberto and he gave me some answers.

"He told me these were just allegations and he would prove it."

Farah continued: "I work so hard for what I do and to achieve what I have. It has taken me half my life. For people to think I've taken a short cut - it's not right. It's not fair.

"The picture that has been painted of me is not right. I'm 100 per cent clean. I love what I do and want to continue winning medals.

"I want people to know I am 100 per cent clean and I am not on any drugs. The only medication I am on is for asthma which I have had since I was a child."

I GIVE MY ALL

Seven months a year, I am away from my family. I miss my kids' birthdays, anniversaries and I will never be able to get that time back, and that kills me.

FARAH, on his commitment to the sport

The BBC programme Panorama, in association with American website ProPublica, made a series of allegations, including that Salazar had given Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Galen Rupp the banned anabolic steroid testosterone.

The American issued a lengthy and detailed denial of the allegations last week.

Farah was not accused of any wrongdoing in the BBC documentary but has been tarred by association. He told Sky: "If it is proven that he has crossed the line, then I am out, I would not work with

Alberto, trust me on this. I work every day and put my body on the line. I go through hell.

"Seven months a year, I am away from my family. I miss my kids' birthdays, anniversaries and I will never be able to get that time back, and that kills me.

"For people to label me a cheat is not fair. If I'm a cheat, prove I'm a cheat or just leave me alone to run and make my country proud."

Farah has admitted missing doping tests in February 2010 and February 2011 when he did not hear a doorbell ring as he was asleep.

He added: "I have taken 148 tests since 2007 and 103 tests since the 2012 Olympics - every single one has been negative."

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline ''If I'm a cheat, prove it''. Print Edition | Subscribe